Outside-IN

4 lessons advisers can learn from Apple's marketing prowess

Make people want you and make the world want to buy what you're selling

Mar 10, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

By Matthew Halloran

Yesterday Apple launched and updated its products, including the much-anticipated Apple Watch. People will no doubt stand in line for hours and pay through the nose to get the coveted new gadget. Apple certainly whips up excitement and anticipation over their new products with a top-notch marketing plan. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is Apple so successful at marketing and I'm not?”

It's really simple: Apple is able to convince people that what they are offering is fundamentally new. Come on, a watch is not new! The first wristwatch was made in 1571. Watches tell time; it's just another chronometer, right?

What is the big deal with the new Apple Watch? It is a watch right? No … but really, yes.

The marketing people at Apple are geniuses. They create a need for a “new” product no one really needs. Millions of people buy it, and they make ridiculous amounts of money. Then guess what? They do it again next year!

(See also: 8 ways to reach the next level of client segmentation)

In our industry, there is nothing fundamentally new. Stock was first issued (depending on where you look and how you define “stock”) in 1602. The first modern insurance policy was written in the 17th century. Of course there are other products I am not going to give you the history of, but you get the idea.

So what can you learn from this?

First, you need to realize there are more people who need your goods and services than any of the readers of this blog could handle. So you have not even scratched the surface of potential clients. Apple knows this.

Second, you have to get the word out and stop being the best-kept secret in your area. Apple is streaming their new product events live on the web. How are you communicating what you do to your community?

Third, make what you do look shiny and new. Whether it is a new process, a new software, or a new team member, highlight what is new in your practice that can get people's attention.

Fourth, get the word out. When there is something going on in the market or the economy, call the local press. Volunteer and speak for free at your local community events, churches, chambers or libraries. You have to be seen, heard and respected.

(Related read: Other lessons advisers can learn from Apple)

To be like Apple, you have to make people want you and make the world want to buy what you're selling.

Matthew Halloran is a certified coach for advisers. He wrote “The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business.”

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